JM Tuason & Co. v. Land Tenure Administration
B2017 | Constitutional Law | Prof. Dante Gatmaytan | 1 J.M. Tuason & Co. Inc. (petitioner) v. Land Tenure Administration (respondent) Doctrine: Constitutional Construction Nature: Special Civil Action in the Supreme Court for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction Date: February 18, 1970 Ponente: Justice Fernando Short version: RA 2616--the expropriation of the Tatalon Estate authorized by Congress (the first statute to be specifically tailored to expropriate land), was decided unconstitutional by the lower court, in favor of the petitioner JM Tuason & Co. The Supreme Court then reversed this decision, reviewing the scope of power given to Congress under the Constitution to authorize expropriation of lands. With the ff opinions: Zaldivar, Sanchez and Villamor, JJ., concur. Makalintal, J., concurs in the result. Barredo, J. concurs in a separate opinion. Tehankee, J., concurs and dissents in a separate opinion. Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L. Dizon and Castro, JJ., concur in the opinion of Justice Tehankee Facts:
I. Congress: RA 2616 August 3, 1959 RA 2616 took effect without executive approval— expropriation of the Tatalon Estate in Quezon City owned by petitioner JM Tuason & Co. (to be subdivided into small lots and sold to their occupants) was authorized by Congress in view of social and economic problems. November 15, 1960 Respondent Land Tenure Administration instituted the proceeding for the expropriation of the Tatalon Estate RA 2616, as directed by the Executive Secretary.
II. Lower Court: RA 2616 is unconstitutional November 17, 1960 Petitioner JM Tuason & Co. filed special action for prohibition of RA 2616 with preliminary injunction against the respondents to restrain expropriation proceedings. January 10, 1963 RA 2616 was decided unconstitutional, granting the writ of prohibition.
SC: Reversing the decision and further proceedings February 18, 1970 The Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision that RA 2616 is unconstitutional—denying the writ of prohibition, and setting aside the preliminary injunction filed by petitioner JM Tuason & Co. March 30, 1970 Motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioner invoking his rights to due process & equal protection of laws. May 27, 1970
SG Felix Antonio filed detailed opposition to the reconsideration. June 15, 1970 Petitioner filed for a rejoinder. The expropriation of Tatalon Estate in Quezon City is unconstitutional pursuant to RA 2616 sec 4. (as amended by RA 3453)-prohibiting the enforceability of ejectment proceedings or the continuance of a proceeding that has already been commenced. Issue: Is RA 2616 (rightfully amended) unconstitutional because it violates the petitioner’s rights to due process and equal protection of law? Held: No.
B2017 | Constitutional Law | Prof. Dante Gatmaytan | 1 Petitioner’s Contention The statute is unconstitutional because:
(1) It violates the due process for landowners. (2) It applies only to the petitioner and singles out the Tatalon Estate among the land estates in Quezon City. Implications: Disregard of constitutional principles Misuse of power by Congress
Supreme Court The statute is valid and therefore, constitutional because:
(1) It gives protection and opportunity to bona fide land owners (notwithstanding procedural mistakes made) in recognizing their right to expropriation proceedings and just compensation—a barrier to arbitrariness. (2) The statute jives with the vision of dynamism and public welfare, as intended by the framers of the Constitution. (3) There is nothing to prevent Congress to follow a system of priorities. It could determine which lands would be the first subject of expropriation for valid reasons.